The Health Department says 240 healthcare professionals have succumbed to COVID-19 in South Africa, with the public sector being the hardest hit.
“We salute these fallen soldiers and pay tribute to them for their commitment to serving the people of South Africa right until the very end. We extend our condolences to all the family, friends and colleagues of these valuable members of society,” the Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said on Wednesday.
According to the reported deaths, 37 are from the private sector, while 203 are from the public sector.
Meanwhile, 27 360 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 as of 4 August, Mkhize said.
According to the breakdown, 6 027 (22%) of these health professionals are from the private sector, while 21 333 (78%) are from the public sector.
Meanwhile, nursing is the worst-hit profession, recording 14 143 infections, while 1 644 are doctors.
Also, 11 545 are from other categories of clinicians, while 28 are port healthcare workers.
“The overall infection rate among healthcare workers, compared to the total number of cases identified nationally, is 5%, which is well below the global average of 10%,” Mkhize explained, adding that the recovery rate is 58%.
The Eastern Cape recorded the highest number of deaths with 85 fatalities, Gauteng 43, Western Cape 38, KwaZulu-Natal 30, Free State 21 and North West 16.
Meanwhile, four healthcare workers died in the Northern Cape and three are from Mpumalanga.
Limpopo is the only province that has zero fatalities reported.
As of 7 August 2020, there were 7 500 active cases, 751 (10%) of which were hospitalised, 6 557 (87%) were in self-isolation and 192 (3%) were being isolated in a facility.
“We wish all healthcare workers currently battling COVID-19 a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back to the workforce when they are fully recovered,” Mkhize said.